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Housing Glossary

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona


Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

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First expropriation of an empty flat owned by a bank

21/06/2019 - 17:52

Housing. The end to the suspension of the housing laws also means fines can be imposed for not offering social rent options before an eviction.

The withdrawal of the constitutional challenges and the lifting of the suspension of Catalan laws on housing emergencies are starting to bring results. On one hand, and for the first time, the right to the use of an empty flat owned by a bank is now in municipal hands. On the other hand, proceedings have been started to fine another owner of multiple properties who wanted to evict a vulnerable family with having offered then a social rent alternative.

These are the first results of the application of the Catalan laws on the housing emergency (Act 24/2015 and Act 4/2016) after the Constitutional Court withdrew the constitutional challenges to them and lifted their suspension.

The City Council is resuming its activities to fine owners of multiple properties that don’t comply with emergency housing laws. These laws were suspended due to the constitutional challenge lodged with the Constitutional Court by the central government.

First expropriation, in Besòs i el Maresme

In this respect, Act 4/2016 on protection measures for the right to housing of people at risk of residential exclusion was used to carry out the first expropriation of the usage rights for an empty flat owned by the BBVA. The home, located in the neighbourhood of El Besòs i el Maresme, in the district of Sant Martí, will become part of the municipal pool of affordable rental property in the city.

The law enables homes to be expropriated in areas where there is demonstrable high demand for housing. They homes must be on the register of empty homes kept by the Catalan Housing Agency or meet the conditions to be included on it.

The flat will form part of the municipal housing pool for ten years, the maximum period established by the law.

Fine for not offering social rent

The renewed validity of the Catalan legislation on housing has also enabled proceedings to be taken against an owner of multiple properties. In this case, the owner started a process to evict a vulnerable family from the neighbourhood of El Raval without having offered them a social rent option.

The law applied was Act 24/2015 on urgent measures to tackle the housing emergency and energy poverty. As this is considered a serious offence, a fine of up to 90,000 euros may be imposed.

The procedure is the first since the suspension of the law was lifted. Three hundred more cases are currently being handled where social rents should have been offered in similar situations.

How do you access public housing?
Check the procedure and requisites.

Problems paying the rent?
The housing website has information on subsidies and support services.

Problems paying the mortgage?
Check subsidies available to help you avoid losing your home.

Got a flat to let?
Rent out your property with optimal peace of mind using the Barcelona Rental Housing Pool. Check the conditions.


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